10 Tips to Save Money on Your Prescriptions

This is a guest post by Carol Parker, content manager at Drugsdb.com. Carol holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy.

These days, getting sick can be a costly business, especially for those who can't afford medical insurance. Not only does a person have to worry about paying the consultation bill from the doctor, but the cost of prescriptions seems to skyrocket each time you need to have them filled.

The good news is that there are many ways to save money on your prescriptions. Although they may require some effort on your part, the savings will be well worth it.

Why you should try to save money on your prescriptions
There is no doubt that the economy is in a very tight spot at this time. Because of this, it is important for a person to try and save as much money as possible on disposable purchases, especially where prescription medications are concerned. Money saved on prescriptions can definitely be put to better use elsewhere in our already overstretched budgets. By researching and finding ways to cut down on prescription expenses, it is possible to reduce their cost substantially. The good news is that there are many ways in which a patient can reduce the cost of their prescriptions.

The following are my top 10 tips to save money on prescription drugs:

  1. Always inquire about generic options which may be available. Many brand-name medications have generic substitutes which are required by law to contain exactly the same ingredients as the brand name medicines. Whenever you receive a prescription from your doctor for medication,make sure to ask about the possibility of generic alternatives available. The end result could be as much as an 80% savings on the cost of your prescription.
  2. Find out if you qualify for Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). Certain pharmaceutical companies have put PAPs in place for those who earn below a certain wage or who simply can't afford any form of medical insurance. PAPs may include assistance in the form of savings cards, assistance with co-pays or levies, and coupons which can be redeemed against the price of certain medications.
  3. When possible, fill all of your prescriptions at one pharmacy. By having all of your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy, you will not only save time (and gas), but your pharmacist will get to know your particular prescriptions. This will come in very handy should you develop any allergies or unpleasant side effects from any of your medication.
  4. Consider the possibility of splitting higher-dose pills. It is a known fact that there is often very little difference in price when it comes to different dosages of pills. A 50mg pill will often cost almost the same price as the same pill in a 25mg dosage. Find out from your pharmacist if the medication you are using comes in different doses and if it is safe to split the larger-dose pills or not. It is important to note that some pills are not safe to split, but your pharmacist will be able to give you reliable advice in this regard.
  5. Communicate with your doctor. When you receive a prescription from your doctor, it's always important to speak up if you can't afford any of the medications that have been prescribed. Often your doctor will be able to prescribe alternative medications which may be more affordable for you.
  6. Help reduce co-payments by checking your formulary. Many medical insurance companies will only cover the cost of specific medications for some conditions, as stipulated in their formulary. If your doctor prescribes medication which is not listed on this formulary, it can result in you having to pay a higher co-payment. Check your prescription against the formulary, and if it's not listed, ask your doctor to prescribe an alternative medication that is on the list.
  7. Shop around. These days it is possible to purchase medication from some supermarkets, via mail order, and at various retail pharmacies. By shopping around, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that prices differ from one source to another. If you find that a particular source has all but one of your listed medications at a cheaper price, ask them if it's possible to get a discount on that particular item.
  8. Ask your doctor for samples. Thousands of people have allergic reactions to medications every year. Before paying for a full month's supply or course of a particular medicine, ask your doctor if there are any free samples available. This will enable you to try it before buying a full course of it. If possible, find out if your doctor is able to give you a 7- to 10-day supply of the drug so that you can assess it thoroughly.
  9. Search for coupons. Magazines, newspapers, and certain websites offer prescription-related coupons on various medicines and treatments. Two websites that are known for offering medicine coupons are InternetDrugCoupons.com and NeedyMeds.org. You also can ask your doctor's office if they know of any available coupons for your particular prescription drugs. Certain manufacturers even offer free, 30-day trial packs of their medicines.
  10. Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. By keeping fit and healthy, you will be able to minimize your risk of getting sick and requiring medication. Maintaining a healthy weight is also very important, because there are many diseases which can be linked to obesity, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Once diagnosed, both of these diseases often require a lifelong commitment to using prescription medication to manage them.

There are many ways for a patient to save money on prescription medications. In most cases though, prevention is definitely better than cure, so it is always important to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional as soon as you realize that there is something wrong. That step alone will save a lot of time, effort, and money where prescription medications are concerned.

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Justin @ The Family Finances
Justin @ The Family Finances
8 years ago

The thing I find difficult is convincing my wife that the generic medications are the exact same thing as the name brand. This goes both for prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. For some reason, buying “Tylenol” is just more appealing to her than Equate, Meijer, CVS, or other store brands.

Does anyone know a good website or peer-reviewed article that goes into detail about proving this?

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

Maybe it’s not the same in the U.S. but in Canada generic drugs are legally required to have the same ACTIVE ingredients as their pricier counterparts, but the other ingredients can be different. (Provided they are proven to not affect the effectiveness of the drug.)

I know a couple of people who have had to go with brand names rather than generics because of sensitivities to the non-active ingredients.

Here’s where you can read more: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/med-gen-eng.php

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago

My own experience with generic Sudafeds is not good. I have tried Costco, Target and CVS brands and none of them work as well for me or my family as genuine Sudafed. It’s not worth it to me to try the store brand Sudafeds anymore.

As far as aspirin goes, I’ve never had a problem using generics for regular aspirin.

As a result of my own experience, I’m not willing to blanket agree that generics are always as good as the brand name.

Sara A.
Sara A.
8 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

It is called the placebo effect.

Sam C
Sam C
8 years ago
Reply to  Sara A.

It’s not necessarily the placebo effect. Generics can use different binders or other non-active ingredients that can cause issues for certain people.

SLCCOM
SLCCOM
7 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

No, generics are NOT the same. In some cases, people react to the fillers, or the brand name fillers are needed to make it work best. If you have a medication with a very narrow therapeutic window like antidepressants or anti-seizure medications, you can’t afford to mess with generics. If you do have one, do NOT let the pharmacy switch you to another generic.

Carla
Carla
7 years ago
Reply to  SLCCOM

I totally agree.

SF_UK
SF_UK
8 years ago

In most cases, generics are as good as the named brand. However, in a few cases, either non-active ingredients can cause sensitivity, or different manufacturing processes can affect the response (I seem to remember that some anti-epilepsy drugs are prone to this). However, these are by far the minority. Talk with your pharmacist, and try a generic if it’s safe to do so. My drugs vary between being generic and branded, depending on what pharmacy I use and what they have in stock, and I’ve never noticed a difference, except when I switched from an unbranded CFC inhaler to a… Read more »

cc
cc
8 years ago

i agree that some generics are similar enough – allergy meds, aspirin, etc. but when it’s ladytime of the month, I NEED ADVIL. not ibuprofen, not acetaminophen, brand-name ADVIL. since it’s a recession and advil is expensive i tried cheaping out and getting generics, but rolling around on the bed praying for the store-brand pills to kick in when the advils would have 20 mins ago- SUCKS.
my husband has observed this, and bless his heart he brings home the good advils now πŸ™‚ miserable wives are no fun.

chris
chris
8 years ago

I know for a fact that Synthroid is not the same in generic formulation. Even the phramacists say there are differences between generic brands as well. All people I know (doctors and pharmacists – I have spoken to a handful on this) recommend sticking with name-brand only on this one medicine to get consistent blood work readings and, as a result, metabolic response.

cc
cc
8 years ago
Reply to  chris

oh snap, really?
i’ve been on those for about 6-9mos, they seemed to level off my bloodwork pretty well, but i have the generic formula… my doctor seems happy tho?

Audrey
Audrey
8 years ago
Reply to  cc

I was a certified pharmacy tech when the generics for synthroid were approved. Doctors noticed that it was difficult for patients who were on the brand name to switch to generic because the inactive ingredients are different. Because the thyroid is so sensitive, some of the patients were having problems controlling thier hormone levels. Because of this, doctors do not recommend switching from brand to generic for thyroid medication. However, there is no problem if you start off on generics. Keep in mind that sometimes pharmacies will switch suppliers for generic drugs. If you ever get medication that is a… Read more »

Walter
Walter
8 years ago

They can vary widely. For prescription generics, I think the allowable variance is as much as 20%. That’s a lot. I take a particular medicine for headaches and have noticed a profound difference in the effectiveness even when my pharmacy switched to a different generic supplier. I hate to think how much different an effect I might be getting on medications I don’t actually feel the effect of – like for blood pressure. I guess my point is that, yes, maybe you don’t need name brand. But be aware that if the people using the medicine tell you they feel… Read more »

Lindsey
Lindsey
8 years ago

At my last appointment, I told my doctor that my prescription was expensive but I didn’t want to switch and there are no generics available. She was able to give me 3 months of samples and recommend a website linked to my insurance where I could buy 2 doses and get one free, shipped to my door for free (how’s that for gas savings?) that I didn’t know existed. Thanks, doc!

cc
cc
8 years ago
Reply to  Lindsey

is it medco? i LOVE medco!! it came with my husband’s new insurance plan, i need all kinds of long-term, youre-so-sickly medications. some were super cheap, but i’ve got some asthma meds that are 60/month πŸ™ called up medco, 60/3 months πŸ™‚ yay! basically everything they have is 1/3 the cost of the IRL pharmacy. plus they ship to my door, so i dont have to hang out with the invalids and contagious at the pharmacy.

chris
chris
8 years ago
Reply to  cc

I used to like Medco, but no more. We are back on Medco – got switched from CVS Caremark (which was very good!) and our costs have almost tripled on Medco for the same three prescriptions we order. Additionally, Medco sent me prescriptions three different times (at the three-month interval which I use to order) with the same expiration date and now I have a 3-month $50.00 prescription which I received and it is unopened and expired and they will do nothing to remedy the situation. I have to take the $50.00 loss. They also told me, when I called… Read more »

slccom
slccom
8 years ago
Reply to  chris

It is rare that the “expiration date” means much. Ask your doctor before you throw them away.

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
8 years ago

The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking, “Or eat less and exercise more, thereby bypassing the need for most medications these days!” But then she got to that in #10! πŸ™‚

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

Me too πŸ™‚ Lifestyle choices have been able to help me limit my use of medications — which is important to me because of the side effects. I would also add reducing stress and getting enough sleep to that list. And avoiding known triggers for certain conditions — like foods that can affect migraines or rosecea.

It’s nice to see more people being proactive about their health rather than expecting a pill to solve their problems.

ONEEC
ONEEC
8 years ago

I know people who eat well and exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, yet still have high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle does not preclude all medications.

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
8 years ago
Reply to  ONEEC

Actually, a healthy lifestyle *does* preclude most medications. It does. It doesn’t preclude *all* obviously, but most, it actually does!

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  ONEEC

A healthy lifestyle means no wheat (or any grains), no dairy, no excessive carbohydrates, and no processed foods, along with adequate sleep and frequent exercise. It’s a very difficult lifestyle ( especially the Paleo diet), but that’s why America is so sick today. Anyone who claims that diet and exercise can’t help their condition shouldn’t do so without going Paleo for at least 2 weeks, along with exercise and sleep.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago

Stop drinking the Paleo Kool-Aid. Cavemen died in their 20’s and had high cholesterol.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

They died from infections, getting eaten, etc. but they aged slower. I’m not sure how you know about their cholesterol levels, but I think it’s reasonable to say that their levels were lower.

Height and bone density were reduced following the invention of agriculture.

Look at menarche in young women today: we’re aging faster. We may be living longer due to anti-biotics, clean drinking water, advances in medicine, etc. But we’re biologically aging faster.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago

Matt, the problem I have with people like you is that your sense of context is all screwed up. You think you’ve got all the answers. You think you’ve “solved” health and aging.

Do me a favour. Go to the hospice department of any large hospital. Look at what’s actually killing the people in there. Cancer. Alzheimer’s. ALS. Plain old dementia. Find yourself a doctor, and ask him, “how many of these illnesses do you think could have been prevented if they’d only eaten less gluten?”

The doctor will laugh in your face and think you’re joking.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Kevin, You’re absolutely right: doctors would laugh at me, the same way they told my friend that her seizures weren’t caused by gluten. That’s the whole problem: doctors aren’t willing to accept any of this yet. The brightest minds thought that the earth was flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, and that housing wasn’t a bubble. I form my own opinions, even if 99.99% of people on earth would disagree with me. Doctors are taught which pills to prescribe. They are not taught evolutionary theory. Biomedical scientists are slowly getting there, but they’d laugh at me… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago

So basically, you’re smarter than doctors and professional nutritionists. Gotcha. That’s all I wanted to hear you say.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Haha, good response. But no, I don’t think I’m smarter, and I don’t think it requires intelligence. It just requires you to be able to think independently.

If you want to know why I feel so strongly about this, I’d be more than happy to email you the signaling axis that I think is responsible for it all. If you have a background in biology, you’ll probably find it really interesting.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago

I don’t know what a “signalling axis” is. But I eat sugar and gluten and wheat and meat and non-organic stuff all day and I’m incredibly fit. I’m 5’10”, 165 lbs and I run triathlons and half-marathons. I never get sick and I’m 36 years old. Nobody dies from gluten. They die from cancer and heart disease and diabetes.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Ya, I also hear people say, “My uncle smoked a pack a day and lived to be 90. Never got long cancer.”

Does that mean that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer?

Your genetics and your great exercise routine may protect you from the harmful effects of these substances. But to make the blanket statement that gluten/sugar/dairy are safe for everyone is no different than saying that smoking is safe for everyone since you smoke and have no lung problems.

slowth
slowth
8 years ago

“Height and bone density were reduced following the invention of agriculture.”

Please provide peer-reviewed research to support this claim. Thank you.

“If you want to know why I feel so strongly about this, I’d be more than happy to email you the signaling axis that I think is responsible for it all.”

Please post a link so everyone can view the evidence. Thank you.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

@Slowth — apparently we missed the invention of the time machine? πŸ˜‰

I’ve seen so many arguments for and against various foods that if we followed them all, it would be impossible to feed ourselves.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

@slowth,

Here’s a link:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21507735

But Elizabeth is right in a way, though. The evidence is pretty convincing, but we may never know for sure.

As for the signaling axis, you’ll have to email me for that. I’d be more than happy to tell you all about it in a private message. It’s something I want to study during my career, and I’m not willing to make it public in a forum like this.

quinsy
quinsy
8 years ago

Matt, I read your PubMed abstract, just wanted to say it sounds like there are a LOT of confounding variables in that study. The researchers noted that they felt the decrease in nutrition and shorter stature were related to increased population density and the subsequent spread of infectious disease, as well as crop blights and droughts that would negatively impact food supply if overly reliant on agricultural sources. It would be impossible to tease out whether diet was the causal factor in a study like this, as I’m sure you know, correlation does not equal causation. That being said, you… Read more »

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

quinsy, You’re right that it’s not conclusive, and merely correlative, with many variables. For me, however, it’s just one piece of evidence out of many. Once you get the idea in your head that humans aren’t supposed to eat agricultural products, all of the pieces fit perfectly. Thanks for the article. That topic, about sugar being toxic, is getting a lot of attention lately. The signaling axis that regulates sugar metabolism also regulates the opioid receptor (I’ve posted this link before): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20668208 Type 2 diabetes correlates with many, many diseases, and we know that T2D is absolutely diet-related in most… Read more »

sarah
sarah
8 years ago

People take medicine for lots of reasons. As far as I know, diet and exercise won’t clear up your psoriasis or get rid of your need for birth control.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

I agree πŸ™‚ Not all tips work for every situation though.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

Try going gluten-free/Paleo for psoriasis. For birth control, try a condom, or if it’s for a medical reason, try gluten/dairy-free. A lot of menstrual issues can be caused by what you eat (like seizures!).

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

I’ve never heard of seizures being a menstrual issue. Can you point us to a resource on that? (I’m curious.)

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Sure!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catamenial_epilepsy

If you want something more scientific than wikipedia, let me know.

Someone close to me was having catamenial (menstrual) seizures, and hasn’t had one since she stopped eating gluten. Another woman I know also stopped having seizures when she cut gluten (not sure if the seizures were catamenial or not – it’s a bit impolite to ask!).

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

lol! I don’t put a lot of stock in Wikipedia, but it’s a place to start.

Very interesting! See, you learn something new everyday.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18164632

That’s a nice little review out of Harvard Medical School. There are other catamenial issues as well.

Anne
Anne
8 years ago

How does using condoms take away an expense? Maybe we should do a cost analysis based on our own usage? What if it is more economical to be on the pill? How do you factor in preference? Though I guess for women, this switch could be a boon. In my experience, it is men who often buy condoms and women who pay for birth control pills. Since some people can’t tolerate latex, maybe none of us should use it? I don’t have epilepsy and neither do most women I know. Never had a siezure. What does that have to do… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

LOL to trust a condom with your birth control is asking for a baby. Condoms break, leak and fail. Sure, they help prevent disease transmission, but they aren’t magical forcefields.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Anne,

Perhaps you’re right about condoms.

As for catamenial issues, some women take birth control in an attempt to regulate their cycle in order to avoid some of the symptoms associated with menstruation. My point is that if you regulate your hormones through diet and lifestyle, you can avoid the cost of birth control pills.

Anne
Anne
8 years ago

As for catamenial issues, some women take birth control in an attempt to regulate their cycle in order to avoid some of the symptoms associated with menstruation. My point is that if you regulate your hormones through diet and lifestyle, you can avoid the cost of birth control pills. a) Both the abstract and wikipedia seemed to suggest that the issues with seizures and menstruation were with women who had epilepsy. So yes, it’s good to know. If you have epilepsy (a disease that often requires drugs), your time of the month may exacerbate the situation. I don’t have epilepsy,… Read more »

sarah
sarah
8 years ago

I didn’t say I have psoriasis, or take birth control, or eat gluten. You must be an amazing scientist with your vast expertise on so many topics ranging from sexuality to finance to nutrition to menstruation.

Besides, I have friends who are gluten free and their food costs a fortune.

The point was just that a blanket statement that people wouldn’t need medicine if they took better care of themselves is silly and also mean.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Anne, I apologize if I offended you. I’m a man, so minus one for me to start, but someone close to me was having catamenial epilepsy. I read everything I could about menstruation, estorgen dominance, progesterone treatment, gluten, sugar, insulin signaling, etc. I then met other women who had menstrual (and neurological) issues, and they alleviated many of the symptoms with diet changes (mostly by removing dairy and gluten). I never insinuated that diet/lifestyle could cure ALL menstrual issues. Please don’t assume that I know that diet and lifestyle can control all unpleasant symptoms of menstruation (kidding). I’m flattered that… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago

The trouble with this is that it can easily devolve into a cruel attitude that disease is always avoidable and that those who are sick are at fault, less than perfect, and not to be sympathied with or accommodated in any way.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

YES. Many thumbs up. For more on this, please read “Illness as Metaphor” by that glory of American letters known as Susan Sontag, bless her.

http://www.amazon.com/Illness-Metaphor-AIDS-Its-Metaphors/dp/0312420137

Balanced money confusion
Balanced money confusion
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

But just because *it can devolve* doesn’t mean it’s bad advice for a majority of people with diseases caused by lifestyle.
I have a relative – with an identical twin (same genetics) one is morbidly obese and has diabetes, the other maintained a healthy lifestyle by walking all the time, and doesn’t have diabetes. I’d say this is a pretty clear cut and dried case of ‘GET OFF YOUR *SS AND MAKE YOURSELF BETTER!’ but none of his docs are willing to tell him that (because that opinion isn’t allowed lest it ‘devolve into accusation’)

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago

If those doctors aren’t willing to give your relative advice about eating and exercise, it’s because they aren’t good doctors, not because they’re prohibited in some way from expressing an opinion.

slccom
slccom
8 years ago

Infections can cause diabetes, as can autoimmune diseases. And I’m sure that your attitude towards the ill twin are SO helpful…

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

I think we need to find a balance between taking responsibility for our health and understanding there are things we can’t control. I think we look for cause-and-effect because knowing the reason why means bad things can’t happen to us if we do or don’t do certain things.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.

Alan S
Alan S
8 years ago

Carol did a good job with her list. She could have stressed that you talk to your PHARMACIST as well. Pharmacists have a better knowledge of prescription costs than prescribers. Pharmacists will point you in the right direction and will gladly help you discuss the options with your doctor.

Carol
Carol
8 years ago
Reply to  Alan S

Great point, thanks.

Having a great relationship with your doctor/pharmacist can also go a really long way.

Sara
Sara
8 years ago
Reply to  Alan S

Yes! Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about options for ordering more fills at once, which can save on the co-pay if your insurance allows it. For example, I used to get my prescription once a month for $15 co-pay. However, I found that my insurance allows three months at a time for a $20 co-pay. In one year, that’s $100 in savings.

Aryn
Aryn
8 years ago
Reply to  Sara

This is especially true with maintenance meds. If you stay on the same dose for a year at a time, see if your insurance has a mail-order pharmacy. Typically, you’ll get three months at a time for the price of one. Saves money AND hassle.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

All good tips! Good communication with my doctor has certain helped me get through times when I was underemployed and didn’t have supplementary health coverage for medications. I think equally important is avoiding savings strategies that could put your health at risk — like skipping doses to stretch a prescription, delaying filling a prescription or stop taking a prescription without discussing it with your doctor first. Another mistake people make is not taking their full round of antibiotics so they can save some “for next time”. (The Canadian Medical Association Journal did a study a while back and found that… Read more »

Kristina
Kristina
8 years ago

Could you please change #10 to include “Type 2 Diabetes” instead of just “diabetes”? It’s a small difference to you, but lumping in people who developed Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes at age 5 that they should have just eaten better and exercised more is a dismissive load of bull.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  Kristina

I agree. The distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes should be made more frequently is articles like this one. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss type 1 diabetes as being unrelated to diet:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449104

Researchers are starting to look into it, but a lot of the early data are controversial. My future kids will NOT be eating anything that might get their young immune systems going in the wrong direction. Call me a crazy scientist, but it would certainly make sense to me. Molecular mimicry…

Anne
Anne
8 years ago

HAHAHAHA! This has to be the funniest comment I’ve heard in a while. I love people who say stuff like this before having children. I only wish I could see you actually parent a human child. You guys make the most entertaining parents.

Thanks for all the smuggery.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

I apologize if I’m implying that anyone who has a child with type 1 diabetes did something wrong. I don’t mean that at all. My hope is that we, as humans, being to understand that our immune systems weren’t designed for the things that we eat, and the correlations between some of these diseases are quite suggestive. I’m lucky that I’m part of a generation that has the ability to see this.

No “smuggery” intended.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

Your comment made me laugh πŸ™‚ When I was teaching, I saw what parents packed in their kids’ lunches versus what their kids actually eat. (Nevermind what teenagers eat!) I don’t have kids yet, but I imagine getting youngsters to eat a certain way can be a challenge.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

I’m confused — what is that abstract supposed to demonstrate? Experts have long known that autoimmune diseases can affect any organ or tissue, and they don’t necessarily attack just one at a time. My reading of the abstract is that there’s a shared genetic mechanism behind these two autoimmune disorders — but how does this prove that diet is the cause?

I’m not trying to be difficult — I’m genuinely curious.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

It just says that the data are controversial. You’re right, it doesn’t prove anything. I just put it there to show that actual researchers, and not just crazy celebrities, are starting to look into it.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

Elizabeth,

Definitely! My friends are already joking about giving my kids pizza and soda etc when I’m not around.

I know they’ll end up eating bad food. It’s fine as long as it’s in moderation. Also, hopefully by the time I have kids, the role of nutrition in disease will be known, and the government will have stopped subsidizing junk food (wheat/corn crops).

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago

From Woody Allen’s “Sleeper”:

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Moneywisdomtips
Moneywisdomtips
8 years ago

Your health is an area to closely pay attention to because it is one area that leaks our finances out if not checked

Tax Advisor
Tax Advisor
8 years ago

No mention of using a flexible spending account for prescriptions? That’s a top ten if your employer has one.

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago

I like option 10 the best. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take something out of your diet, like gluten or dairy or sugar, instead of taking a pill. Spending more on healthy food (organic, grass-fed, free range, gluten-free, etc.) can help you save money in the long run by avoiding prescriptions later. Sleeping well and exercising regularly are important as well.

Andy
Andy
8 years ago

#1 tip to save money on prescriptions: Don’t need prescriptions. Eat a healthy diet and exercise.

*Note: Of course there are plenty of conditions that don’t fall into this category, I’m more referring to the preventable ones.

Misha
Misha
8 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Haha, because exercise and diet are totally a replacement for hormonal birth control! And because no one is ever born with conditions that require medication!

cc
cc
8 years ago
Reply to  Misha

you guys are making me feel very bummed out for having been born with asthma πŸ™‚ sorrreeeee, it must have been all that junk food……

Ashley K
Ashley K
8 years ago

AAA members can print or order a “Prescription Savings Card” that will discount prescriptions that are not covered by insurance an average of 24%. Most pharmacies participate and the only catch is that you must be a AAA member to use it. you can print the card at AAA.com/Prescriptions.

Brian
Brian
8 years ago

I never thought shopping around would matter, but I just found out how wrong I was. The pharmacy within my doctors office sold me generic Zyrtec for $9.95 for 100 pills. The same price I paid last year. That is without using any sort of insurance. One of the big name brand pharmacies said I needed a prescription for the 100 count bottle and even if I had a prescription it would be around $50. They said I could buy 5 pills of the OTC for $5…and that was for the generic as well. That’s a 400% – 900% markup… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Zoinks! I have got to find me some of that $9.95, 100-pills, generic Zyrtec! I’ve been paying through the nose, even with all sorts of coupons and only buying when on sale.

Aryn
Aryn
8 years ago
Reply to  Sara

Costco! 360 generic Zyrtec for $20.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago

Saved money by switching from tablets to capsules. My dog is on Ursodial. Walgreens charged $55 for 250 mg tablet, 30 tablets/30 day ($1.83/day). Local pharmacy charges $28 for 300 mg, 100 capsules ($.28/day)! Vet approved script change from 250mg to 300mg. Daily savings $1.55!

Betsy
Betsy
8 years ago

My husband is on Zocor, and the generic at Walmart for 30 days cost $10. I went to Costco and got 90 days for $10 without insurance! Costco beats everyone hands down on Rx costs!

Megan E.
Megan E.
8 years ago

Also make sure to check the drug’s website – they may offer a discount on a certain number of prescriptions to get you to use the drug…every little bit helps! And make sure to shop around – There was a $10+ difference on one item between Target, Walmart, and Wal-greens – that adds up too! Finally, as mentioned, things like birth control aren’t something we can just “get rid of with a healthy life” – they are a necessary part of avoiding having a child and they help with several other “women’s issues” – and they aren’t cheap! But I… Read more »

John R
John R
8 years ago
Reply to  Megan E.

I would suggest natural family planning if you wish to avoid children. It is definitely more work than just taking a pill every day but still as effective. Plus you have an added bonus of avoiding a bunch of synthetic hormones. Note, if you think ‘rhythm method’ when you hear NFP then you should know that this is outdated and there are much more effective ways to monitor your fertility. http://www.ccli.org/nfp/ has some info.

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

The comments in this post are just hilarious.

Thanks, I needed to laugh a little today.

John R
John R
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

What is so funny?

Ely
Ely
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

Why do I only ever hear about this from men?

Birth control is one of those things that is worth it to me. Worth the cost, worth the (low risk on my current method) potential hormonal side effects. Whatever you pay, it’s cheaper than kid!

John R
John R
8 years ago
Reply to  Ely

My wife (a woman!!) and I use it and has been effective for us. I never said anyone had to do it, merely offering an alternative since people were remarking on the cost of birth control.

Aryn
Aryn
8 years ago
Reply to  Ely

I will jump in as a woman with experience using NFP. When my birth control pill went generic, it came with unwelcome side effects. So I stopped. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and started charting. I successfully used the avoid version of the method for two years, then used the conceive version successfully, too. Yes, if you want to have sex during your fertile period, you’ll need condoms or another barrier method, but you don’t need to worry about back-up on non-fertile days once you know your cycle and how it works.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

If you’re going to practice natural family planning for reasons that are motivated by health rather than religion, perhaps you should use a condom in addition to these methods? I personally would want to hedge my bets.

If you want to avoid the pill or other hormone altering or invasive methods, you could also combine condoms with contraceptive film. Just a suggestion for anyone like me who hates the side effects of the pill.

Rosa
Rosa
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Or your partner could get snipped. One $50 copay for decades of enjoyment.

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

I love militant paleo people. The militant vegans were getting boring. Matt, are you a level five paleo yet?

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

I know that we Paleo people seem like the next hippie/self-righteous fad dieters to come along. But, for me, I eat this way because every ounce of logic in my body tells me that not eating this way will put me at risk for myriad diseases, like type 3 diabetes (Alzheimer’s). I actually don’t eat strictly Paleo, because I don’t think that would be healthy. Though 10,000 years is barely a tick of the clock in evolutionary time, agriculture provided such a drastic shift in our diet that I think eating a real caveman diet wouldn’t give one enough carbs/insulin… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

My uncles (Catholic) all use NFP, and my aunts (also Catholic) used medical birth control. I have about a zillion cousins, most of whom were definitely unplanned… but my aunts each only have 2 kids.

I’m happier not charting my basal temperature– you have to wake up at the exact same time every morning and not get out of bed.

Sara
Sara
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Are your uncles not married to your aunts? πŸ˜‰

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

No, we aren’t into incest in my family. My uncles are married to my aunts-in-law, and my aunts are married to uncles-in-law.

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

Science has a name for people who practice natural family planning: “Parents.” Yes, that’s flippant. But natural family planning is only as “effective” as the ability of its practitioners to be really, really sure of what they’re doing. A woman I know, mother to three tweenagers, told me that she was done with all the pills and barriers. Natural family planning all the way. Within a year she was pregnant. Her husband was extremely upset. They wound up divorced and he harbored a terribly unfair burden of anger against that poor kid. As they say, he didn’t ASK to be… Read more »

Kingston
Kingston
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna Freedman

I would like to offer the IUD as a frugal birth control measure. There are non-hormonal ones for women who prefer such, they are extremely effective, reversible, and work for 10 years or more. There is a cost for the device and to have it put in by a doctor or midwife, but once it’s in place there is no need to to remember pills, refill prescriptions, deal with chemical spermicides, etc. — for YEARS. The problems with the Dalkon Shield IUD are decades in the past. Sorry if this is too much information, but I love my IUD.

Nancy
Nancy
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna Freedman

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned “coitus interruptus” aka the pull out method. I know everyone will probably think I’m nuts but this has been my primary form of birth control for the 8 years that my husband and I have been together. It has never failed. My husband and I have 2 kids but they were both planned. In fact this study claims that the pull out method is almost as effective as condoms http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/reprints/Contraception79-407-410.pdf Personally, I think that the method is even more effective when done correctly.

John R
John R
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna Freedman

FYI Donna, but birth control is also only as effective as the people using it correctly. There are many people who experience unplanned pregnancies while on birth control also. As long as we are throwing anecdotal data out there, I have many friends who successfully use NFP to plan their family sizes. BTW I love how you claim ‘science’ and then prove your point with a rather extreme anecdote.

Bella
Bella
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna Freedman

OMG, I’m so glad I popped back over to see the newer comments. This has for sure been the most entertaining part of my day, week, maybe even month πŸ™‚ As a Catholic I was required to take NFP classes in order to get married in the church. I’ll never forget how the instructors (with a straight face) explained how they used the NFP method to avoid having children, and now they were using it to help them get past some fertility issues they hadn’t quite worked out yet…. Honestly – I think birth control is a really personal decision.… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I know Kaiser gives you a discount if you get the prescriptions delivered to your home address instead of picking up in the pharmacy. Say you get three bottles for a $30 co-pay, it’d be $20 if they were delivered. I think it’s one co-pay off depending on your plan.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

Here some bad news: not everything is available as generic and it may cost a small fortune. I learned this with my cat, who was temporarily afflicted by diabetes. Insulin is classified in the USA as a “biological” (whatever that means) and therefore (“therefore” meaning, I don’t understand the connection but it’s some legal thing) cannot be sold as a generic. The result of this is that a tiny vial of insulin that cracks as easily as an eggshell and needs to be discarded every 30 days costs you $125 or more, depending on where you shop, and there is… Read more »

John R
John R
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Biological drugs are different from small molecule drugs because they are generally protein or protein like molecules that are produced in living cells. These are more expensive to produce and currently there is no framework for the FDA to approve generics. This will be changing in the next couple of years (and already has in Europe). So there will be generic biologics (called biosimilars) on the market in the US within a couple of years.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

Thank you sir! And I hope this “biosimilars” thing actually happens. Fingers crossed…

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Insulin costs that much because it’s a protein, meaning it’s very expensive to make, purify, and store. We deal with the same things in research labs: tiny little vials of antibodies can cost upwards of $400. It may seem like the company selling it to you is ripping you off, but they’re usually not. And when we leave a vial of antibody out of the fridge by accident, we’re reminded by our boss of just how expensive they are.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

A LETTER OF PROTEST AGAINST VIRTUOUS, OBVIOUS COMMENTS Hello people. I hope you’re having a good day. Look, I’ve been asking for more health-related articles from GRS for a long time. And I’ve done it because as most of you realize, medical care is more crucial to personal finance than hostel travel. I hope some of you agree with this. And yes, yes, we know, diet and exercise and all that, it’s good, and your particular diet of choice has the key to all the answers, whether it is veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, slow carbs, raw foods, whatever. But we get… Read more »

Anne
Anne
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I do agree. But I think such smuggery will always be encouraged with statements like this…

Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. By keeping fit and healthy, you will be able to minimize your risk of getting sick and requiring medication.

It’s not that the above is not true. It’s just that it encourages the kind of discussion you appear to dislike.

I put the blame on the author and the editors.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Anne

I personally think that “smuggery” can be easily ignored, or handled with a swift boot to the head if needed.

However, I am concerned about derailing a useful topic that appears once in a blue moon (unlike “diet and exercise”).

We could focus on the first 9 points and ignore the obvious 10.

For example, I don’t have any experience with PAPs. Sounds intriguing. Has anyone here used them?

KT
KT
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I used AstraZeneca’s patient assistance program. I needed one of their branded drugs (the generic made me violently ill)but it would have cost me about $500 a month-which I couldn’t afford. I applied on their website, and they covered my drug completely with a monthly voucher.

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

“For example, I don’t have any experience with PAPs. Sounds intriguing. Has anyone here used them?”

No, but I get mine tested every so often.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

@ KT – Awesome! How did you qualify for it? Do you have to present tax returns or something? Did they put you through a wringer or was it relatively sane? No need to share personal details, but it would be good to hear about the process.

@Donna – your Georgios Papanikolaou??? πŸ˜›

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

-El Nerdo, no, they were really nice and very helpful. They asked me to send them my 2 most recent pay stubs, and they asked for the name of my doctor, and I guess they contacted him to confirm my diagnosis and that he thought their drug was the best for me, then they just sent me the voucher in the mail. Every 6 months, they would contact my doctor to make sure I still needed the drug, but they were amazing. After my initial mail-in, I did absolutely nothing haha. I am so appreciative of them; if they hadn’t… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Bravo!

Ely
Ely
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

El Nerdo, you are my hero. πŸ˜‰

Marsha
Marsha
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Love this comment. I was becoming increasingly nauseated at the smug comments, but you answered them all perfectly.

There’s too many people thinking that they’re in control because they do all the “right” things. It just means the bad things haven’t happened to them yet.

And the last thing someone with an illness needs to hear is that they could have prevented it with diet and exercise. Many illnesses that have a lifestyle component also have a large genetic component–true of even type 2 diabetes.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Allow me to add another datapoint, Nerdo, as if you need one. For the past two years, I’ve lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. I exercise all the freakin’ time, eat reasonably well, and try to be aware of my health. Yet here I am today, laid low with pneumonia. I’m confined to my apartment for the next three days. And even after I’m out of quarantine, I’ll still have days or weeks of recovery time before I’m back to where I was. Why? Because of some freak illness. There’s something about the Peruvian world view that’s been creeping into my… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

dude, this is all your fault, if you only breathed pure organic alpine air from hypoallergenic trees you wouldn’t get sick like that! πŸ˜›

(and best wishes for a quick recovery)

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

oh, one more thing, the real madrid/bayern munich game starts in 15 minutes!

A Sumner
A Sumner
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I’d eat a lot more granola if it could keep those damn cosmic pianos from falling on my head.

Jenzer
Jenzer
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

“Like” wasn’t enough, El Nerdo, so I’m here giving you a standing ovation for that comment.

Stacie
Stacie
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Agree x 1000! (As I do with almost all of your comments)

When I see some of the comments above it makes me want to drive to McDonald’s for a hamburger just out of SPITE.

To be honest, I don’t eat and exercise as I should but I’d rather eat what I want and enjoy life and die a few years earlier than eating “gluten/dairy free, grass-fed, organic” food.

And besides the occasional ibuprofen or antibiotic for strep, I HAVE NOT TAKEN A DRUG IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

So thank you for saying what I wanted, much more eloquently πŸ™‚

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Stacie

lol. Get that hamburger πŸ™‚ Eating healthy doesn’t mean being perfect all the time, just like being smart with your money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few luxuries.

The alternative practitioner I see advises an 80/20 rule — each healthy foods 80 percent of the time and live a little. (My doctor agrees) Some people like me have food allergies or intolerances that do affect our health, so we have to be mindful of that.

cc
cc
8 years ago
Reply to  Stacie

careful. i fell in with a pack of healthy eaters- i eat so much mcd’s out of spite. OH YEA? ORGANIC FISH WITH LINGONBERRY TRUFFLE SAUCE? how bout a VALUE MEAL #9!

mmmmmm its worth it every time ^_^ their pain makes it more enjoyable.

Laura
Laura
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

El Nerdo, you are my hero too. πŸ™‚

Could I state, for the record, that my mother never met a candy bar she didn’t like, and that I NEVER ONCE saw her put a vegetable in her mouth and eat it. She died at age 92.

My m-i-l smoked like a chimney from her teen years to age 69. She quit and then lived for 14 more years.

While I agree that it’s great to have good health habits, there’s a lot to be said for genetics.

cc
cc
8 years ago
Reply to  Laura

oh gosh. i’d like to state for the record that i dated not one but two guys who REFUSED to eat veggies like they were some kind of plague.
the one was so skinny and sickly looking but could generally get along with life; the other was skinny and sickly looking and needed surgery on his hinder, as his complete lack of vegable eating led to chronic hemorrhoids. !!! TMI SORRY!!!
yeah, i eat veggies like there’s no tomorrow now.

slccom
slccom
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Amen!

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

THANK YOU! As someone who’s always been active, live a healthy lifestyle, don’t eat this, don’t eat that, eat lots of (good) this, and so on, I still have MS. Though I know I would probably be worse off if I didn’t do these things, it still didn’t prevent this unknown disease from happening right when I turned 30. Its ironic that I’m sometimes more fit and eat a healthier diet than some of the “smugest” folks out there that probably couldn’t lift a 10-lb weight and don’t know what arugula is. Just in case Matt at Healthy N’ Wealthy… Read more »

Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
Matt at Healthy N' Wealthy
8 years ago
Reply to  Carla

Great post Nerdo. Sorry to all for being obnoxious. It’s just something I feel really strongly about.

Carla, I’m sorry to hear that. Sometimes you can do everything right and still get nabbed (like non-smokers getting lung cancer).

In case you’re interested, I came across an interesting story (I don’t know if it’s true or not).

http://www.direct-ms.org/rogermcdougall.html

Sorry if I’m being obnoxious again.

Carla
Carla
8 years ago

Hey Matt,

I actually follow more what this woman does – Title: TEDxIowaCity – Dr. Terry Wahls – Minding Your Mitochondria http://youtu.be/KLjgBLwH3Wc if you’re interested.

Rosa
Rosa
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

THANK YOU!

My dieting, nonsmoking, exercising mom got cancer before her older, smoking, fatty-food-loving hedonist sister. SO UNFAIR, right? Because some people deserve cancer – oh wait. No.

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I would like to nominate El Nerdo as our king.

ib12541
ib12541
8 years ago

I use an app on my iPhone called LowestMed. You enter the prescription and it finds the lowest cost in your area.

A Sumner
A Sumner
8 years ago

I’ll agree that diet and exercise have a place on the list, and I think the bottom slot is the right place for it. When you’re looking around for ways to cut costs, the last thing you want to hear is: “It’s your own fault. If you’d lived better you wouldn’t need to spend the money now.” Maybe they indulged too much when they were younger. They know that now and there’s no way to go back and do it over if they even would. You can start trying to live better now in hopes you wont spend the rest… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  A Sumner

I agree — partly. It’s kind of like telling someone who’s already in debt that “you shouldn’t have spent so much.” However, a lot of conditions can be better managed with a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you can tackle some of the symptoms with lifestyle choices, then you’ll be less reliant on medications in the long term. Example: gout. There’s a known link between diet and attacks. A change in diet can help prevent these attacks rather than only relying on medications to treat the attacks. (and then possibly taking medications to counter act the side effects…) Likewise,… Read more »

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
8 years ago

What about setting up a HSA?

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

I’ve been curious about that but I don’t know the difference between an HSA and a FSA and what’s what, or what I’m eligible for. [Edit: I do now, after googling for this answer] I remember not linking one of those years ago when I had benefits because if you don’t spend the money by the end of the year you forfeit it, or something which seems crazy to me, like a lottery ticket. I think HSAs are only for people with high-deductible health insurance, and FSAs for everyone else but expire by the end of the year. I think… Read more »

Marsha
Marsha
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Yes, to have a HSA you have to have high-deductible health insurance. My husband’s employer puts $1000 in the HSA at the beginning of each year and he contributes out of his paycheck to reach the yearly maximum–it’s a little over $6000. Between the employer contribution and the much lower premiums, we’ve come out ahead over the other health plan available. The great thing about the HSA is the money is ours to spend tax-free on medical needs for the rest of our lives. So money saved in 2012 can be spent in 2030 when we’re retired. Also, any excess… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Marsha

I was reading up on this and the FSA looks like it has to be set up by an employer. Why, oh why? Why can’t I start my own FSA like an IRA or something? πŸ™

But thanks for the info, I’ll see if I can implement one via my business somehow.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

Okay so in a effort to practice what I’m preaching, here 2, no, 3 tales and a question that ignore dreaded “item 10”: 1) When I was in grad school I had access to mental health insurance so I swiftly pursued therapy (it was overdue!). With therapy came the need to consult a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist was awesome, very funny guy, and fed me samples galore so I didn’t have to pay a single cent for my meds over 2 years of treatment. His office was located in a nice area of the city so I think he saw me… Read more »

Veronica
Veronica
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I have ordered from a Canadian Pharmacy with no problem. I needed Advair and it was over $200/month on my high deductible health plan. I ordered it from Canada for $65/month. There were also generic options available at a lower price but I didn’t order the generic. I had to scan my prescription and email it to the pharmacy. It took about 2 weeks for the meds to arrive so I asked my doctor for samples to hold me over. I used Northwest Pharmacy.

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Don’t order from online pharmacies outside the U.S., and use LegitScript.com to check whether an online pharmacy is certified.
PharmaHelper.com will show you the best prices among certified online pharmacies.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Thank you guys thank you thank you. Nerdy finance question: would imported prescriptions be tax deductible? (I’m guessing yes unless somebody objects?) (Health expenses are 25% tax-deductible in my state, independent of other deductions).

No it's fine
No it's fine
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

You can order from overseas pharmacies without a problem so long as you’re not ordering painkillers or huge quantities. The FBI will not come visit you.

Rosa
Rosa
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I’m thinking of re-upping at Costco, and was reading their pharmacy thing today – can you only buy drugs there if you don’t have insurance that covers prescriptions? It seems like the flyer says that but some of their costs are lower than our copays.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

You should definitely shop around with generic over the counter medicines. For instance, I just bought some generic Claritin (loratadine) today at Target. It is about half the cost there than it is at Walgreens. But generic benadryl is cheaper at Walgreens than Target. Go figure. This probably won’t matter much you only buy medicine once in a while, but if it’s something you take regularly, it helps to shop around. I’ve never taken a generic medicine I thought was inferior, but I’m sure it happens. I did, however, take a generic cough syrup that made me delirious for 12… Read more »

Krantcents
Krantcents
8 years ago

I use a mail away service for my prescriptions. It is efficient and lower cost of going into the pharmacy.

mark pichler
mark pichler
8 years ago

saving $$$$$$ on meds.8 does not apply.
no.
because the feds say no medical pro can issue samples.

No it's fine
No it's fine
8 years ago
Reply to  mark pichler

Well that’s not true. I’ve received free samples (up to 3 months supply!) from doctors as recently as late 2011.

beep
beep
8 years ago

El Nerdo, Several years ago when Zyrtec was still a prescription drug, we ordered some from a Canadian online pharmacy. There and in Europe it was already OTC with generic available–so it was cheaper than our copay here. The very first order got stopped by customs. We ended up being able to have it returned to the pharmacy (and they had already reversed our charges). After a few months, we tried again and were successful doing it several times before it went OTC here in the US. So I think it’s a little hit and miss, but very unusual for… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  beep

@ beep

I think so, yeah, opiate painkillers. Funny thing that you can get generic opiates cheaply in the US, so I suspect something fishy going on with that person. Still, I didn’t know how legal was to import medicines from Canada (the other issue is to see if it’s a legit operation).

I’ll keep your post in mind in case of desperate situations. Luckily I have a doctor uncle in my 3rd world country or origin, and he could prescribe and ship whatever I ask for (he’s sent me samples before), but still…. good to know what works!

Marcia Wilwerding
Marcia Wilwerding
8 years ago

I get my Diovan free every month through a prescription program offered by Novartis. My doctor’s office handles it for me. It’s for lower income people who do not have a prescription plan through their insurance. It’s worth it to ask your doctor.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

“which are required by law to contain exactly the same ingredients as the brand name medicines”

exactly the same ACTIVE ingredients. They are NOT required by law to have the same INACTIVE ingredients, which can severely impact absorbency and efficacy. PLEASE do some research and amend the article!

kevin
kevin
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Some drugs like Synthroid, Coumadin, Dilantin and Cytomel you may want to stick with the brand. Other than that, the generic is always just as good. Always.

Marcy
Marcy
7 years ago

I use Medicationcoupons.com- they have manufacturer drug coupons for all types of meds and they offer a free drug card- I usually save around $65 a month.

Christina
Christina
6 years ago

I have enrolled for the New Day Benefits Discount Pharmacy Card and I save so much money on my prescriptions every time! Usually I save between 10% – 85% on generic and brand name prescriptions. And the best part is that it can be used for the entire family! All immediate family members can use the pharmacy discount an unlimited number of times

Johne172
Johne172
6 years ago

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